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Five Creative Ways Intent Data Can Drive B2B SaaS Growth Into 2021


Like everything else, the pandemic upended plans for marketing and sales this year, forcing every team to adapt their tactics to a remote-first world. Trade shows became virtual, cell phones became work phones and reverse IP lookups became ineffective for account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns.

As 2020 nears its end, many marketing and sales executives are wondering how they can focus resources to drive growth in 2021.

Intent data — behavioral information collected about an individual’s online activities — may not be the holy grail, but it can certainly add some spice to the season. Here are some tried-and-true — and unexpectedly clever — ways you can up your marketing, sales and PR game with help from intent data insights.

Segment, Prioritize and Target ABM Efforts

Consider this the time-tested use case for intent data. Most of us marketers agree (87%, according to ISMA) that ABM outperforms traditional lead generation tactics. However, what some of us have realized is that first-party intent data — data you can capture from your site visitors, email engagements or banner click-throughs — is no longer cutting it.

To adapt, some of us have ventured into less charted waters — using second- and third-party data. This approach leverages someone else’s first-party data to drive more targeted insights on who’s in the market for what, where buyers are in the funnel, which competitors are in their consideration and what topics resonate with each segment.

The trick is in the combination of first-, second- and third-party data to segment, prioritize and target specific accounts and the buying committees within them. This data includes reverse IP lookups and cookies (first- or second-party), DSP data (third-party data based on banner clickstream activity) and a new entrant to the mix: public activity data, which can track public signs of research and engagement for your funnel-specific keywords. The interaction of these intent data sources is where the magic of ABM comes to life.

Remember, ABM is an opportunity for sales and marketing alignment; ABM is really target account sales.

Get Ahead of Customer Churn, Flip Your Cross- and Up-sell Game

Churn is inevitable in this economy. Intent data can help customer success teams anticipate this churn and get ahead of it — especially with renewal season in full swing.

With your first-party data — your quarterly business reviews with customers, NPS scores and even in-app usage data — you can track your customers’ pulse. With second-party data, you can track which customers are researching your competitors — on G2Crowd or TechTarget, for example. Add in third-party data and you can monitor which customers are engaging with competitors’ virtual events, following competitors on social media, or asking questions related to your product category on open forums.

Combine all three and you can get comprehensive intelligence on potential churn to prioritize your retention efforts. You’ll be able to synthesize key messages in response to what your customers have already seen to keep them engaged. You can even discover up-sell and cross-sell signals along the way.

Accelerate Your Sales Pipeline

Intent data can help sales teams finish the year strong and build next year’s pipeline early by reaching prospects before your competition does. Instead of waiting for prospects to join a webinar or download a white paper, intent data lets you infer what prospects are thinking and monitor who they’re engaging with.

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